The death of Philip Seymour Hoffman, not to mention a whole host of other celebrities (Heath Ledger, Whitney Houston and actor Corey Monteith amongst others) has sadly given much needed press coverage to the devastating consequences of addiction. Drugs, however, are merely the tip of the iceberg; food, sex, gambling, as well as process addictions like codependency and love addiction claim more lives daily. Why? Because at the root of all dependency is the loss of hope, that life is possible free of the 'medication' needed to abate pain. These are the sites to scan if you or anyone you know needs help.
ACTION ON ADDICTION
This incredible charity (whose patron is the Duchess of Cambridge) is a comprehensive resource dedicated to raising awareness, fundraising for research, prevention and treatment (the charity runs a number of centres across the UK), as well as shining a spotlight on the often preventable causes of addiction. A worthy cause, and a topical one at that.
This US based online magazine is entirely dedicated to helping the addict find their way to sobriety. There are a wealth of resources; amongst them insightful blogs, discussion forums and even expertly researched rehab reviews. At The Fix it's all about doing away with the secrecy and stigma that can lead to relapse. A comprehensive, well-designed portal offering understanding and support.
Twelve step treatment is credited with saving the lives of millions. For those of you living in the UK meetings are plentiful, and this site is replete with information; not only for alcoholics themselves but for their families and the professionals who treat them.
Drugs - and the fight against them can often seem hopeless, 'seem' being the operative word because thousands have turned their lives around by attending Narcotics Anonymous meetings. Using the twelve step mode, the site is replete with literature and numbers to call. Help is mere seconds way.
Food disorders abound in our society, but there is hope for the thousands of men and women still suffering. This fellowship offers much needed support to anorexics, bulimics and overeaters, with one sufferer helping the other. If it's a food-related issue you're struggling with, there's hope, and it's here.
Gambling can have just as powerful a grip as other addictions, with the financial consequences and secrecy adding to the shame of an illness that is so often swept under the carpet. At this site, questions for self diagnosis as well as forums, a live chat support service and meetings lists are joined by a wealth of downloadable material.
One phone call can make all the difference in times of despair, and The Samaritans is an incredible charity that has saved significant numbers at the moment when it was most crucial.
Information on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is an incredibly useful resource for those struggling with the issues (depression, obsessive compulsive disorder etc) that so often contribute towards addiction. This NHS site is replete with helpful introductory advice on the psychiatric treatments available.
AL ANON & ALATEEN
For those affected by addiction; relatives and even friends - the consequences can be devastating. This is the fellowship which offers support for everyone affected, and applies the same program of recovery in order (through shared experience) to 'solve their common problem.'
WIKIPEDIA'S LIST OF TWELVE-STEP GROUPS
Here we have listed but a few of the various support groups. This comprehensive list illustrates just how many others there are out there. Whatever the addict's substance of choice, there is hope via the thousands of other like-minded individuals who have already walked the path to sobriety.